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tv   News  Al Jazeera  December 29, 2015 9:00am-9:31am EST

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iraq's prime minister arrives in ramadi just a day after the army says it's retaken the city from isil. you're watching al jazeera live from doha. also ahead this hour, the death toll mounts in pakistan after a suicide bomber attacked a government building. head to go prison, the former israeli prime minister olmert will serve a year and a half behind bars on a bribery conviction. after once being considered to be ebola ground zero, guinea
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is now declared free of the disease. iraq's prime minister al abadi is visiting the city of ramadi in the province of anbar after a strategic victory against isil. the iraqi forces recaptured the city and flew the national flag over buildings. earlier in baghdad, al abadi said he's confident isil will be defeated in the year ahead. >> if 2015 was the year for liberation, 2016 will be the year of their final great defeat. we are coming to liberate mosul and it will deal a fatal and final blow to isil from the unity of our great people. the spokesman for the u.s. led coalition said the ramadi offensive isn't over yet. >> there's still plenty of work to do in ramadi.
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we still need to stabilize the remainder of the euphrates river valley. we still need to work on the rest of the tigress river valley, so this is going to be a process. i want everyone to be clear that there is still a lot of work ahead of us. this enemy is still dug in very deeply on portions of iraq. they still have a capability to fight. they still have a capability to do harm, so this is going to take time. we are following that story here on al jazeera. is there still a hunt for the last future remaining rebels around or in ramadi on going? >> absolutely, peter. just to give you an idea, in the last hour or so, an iraqi security force confirmed to us when prime minister abadi made his way to ramadi, his helicopter came under fire. there were isil fighters in the
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area who tried to attack the plane. they couldn't really, because it was out of range and then couldn't do damage, but it gives i an indication that the area that the iraqi forces are jubilant they have taken is not completely under their control yet. in parts of central, east and northern ramadi, there are large packets of isil fighters who have always been there and there have been some fighters who have fled from the southern areas which have been taken by the iraqi forces, so it's very much an ongoing fight. yes, it's a symbolic victory for the iraqi forces, but there's still a lot of work ahead of them in order for them to be able to completely secure ramadi. >> are we saying that the iraqi government and the iraqi military are getting a little bit ahead of themselves here, kind of saying mission accomplished. >> they haven't said it in so many words, but we heard an iraqi spokesman saying that
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they've completely liberated the city of ramadi and you heard from the united states that they are saying, trying to put it in diplomatic terms that there is a lot of work ahead of them. from sources on the ground, we know for sure that the city is not completely under the control of the iraqi forces, so yes, there is a lot for the iraqi forces to celebrate, because the place that they have taken, it's symbolic for whoever controls the city, yes, as much as that was concerned, they are in control, but when it comes to other parts of ramadi, there is also an isil presence and even in the areas that they have taken control of, there are a lot of explosive houses, i.e.d.'s and other bombs planted by isil. just today, we heard one source saying that there was an attack, there was a house in southern ramadi that blew up when iraqi forces tried to enter, there were lots of reports of injuries and casualties there. there is a lot of work ahead of them and the iraqi forces,
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obviously it is the first victory that they have claimed all by themselves, not helped by the militias on the ground and not helped by an extreme cover of the coalition forces, but aided by various groups, so they are very keen to say that this is a victory that they have fought by themselves. this is the first time that they've been able to push isil out of an area by themselves after they were pushed out of many areas and they were lampooned for running when isil took over large parts of iraq. >> soma, thanks very much. in pakistan, 22 people have been killed and 42 injured in an explosion targeting a government office in the northwest. local police say a suicide bomber targeted a center issuing i.d. cards. victoria gatten by reports. the attack was timed to cause maximum devastation. the government issuing identity cards was packed with people.
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it was a well timed attack. many were killed, many more injured. >> there was a blast around 2:0. around 20 have been murdered. >> i was offering my prayers in my house when the blast occurred. it was a huge blast. when it came running here, there were dead bodies. >> the attack happened in the city in the tribal area bordering afghanistan e. afghanistan. a group that was once linked to the pakistani taliban claimed responsibility, but the taliban said it had nothing to do with the attack. attacks by its fighters have keyclined in part because of the increased military cooperations and pakistani efforts to shut down the group's source of funding. it comes two days after the head of pakistan's army was in kabul for a neating with president ash ashraf ghani. they were trying to restart
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talks with the taliban. >> we are trying to engage in political negotiation with the afghan government instead of fighting this insurgency in afghanistan. pakistan said focus today is that there should be some sort of a political settlement between the afghan government and the afghan taliban. >> although both governments have been adopting a new approach towards the armed group, it appears there are many fighters committed to continuing the chaos. victoria gattenby, al jazeera. the former israeli prime minister openly merit has been sentenced to 18 months in prison in the bribery case. the rule from the israeli supreme court partially reversed a lower court verdict in which olmert had been sentenced to six years. we have the details now from west jerusalem. >> the hearing was brief, but the ruling was clear. olmert will become the first israeli prime minister to serve time in jail. the supreme court ordered the
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70-year-old to serve 18 months in prison for bribery starting in february. olmert had initially been sentenced to six years in jail by a lower court was a he was first convicted in 2014. the case revolves around the holy land development project in west jerusalem. the real estate deal remains deeply controversial and was approved for construction while olmert served as mayor of jerusalem. the supreme court found he was not involved in the main aspects of the bribery allegation in the case and reduced his sentence. speaking to the media after the ruling, olmert welcomed the verdict. >> a large weight was lifted from my heart when the supreme court decided to acquit me of the main charge in the holy land affair. >> he is going to jail for a deal he approved while he was
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mayor. despite the supreme court sentence, he maintained his innocence. >> no bribe was ever offered to me and i never accepted one. i repeat this today, naturally in line with my beliefs and way which life, i respect the verdict of the supreme court judges. >> olmert served at israeli's prime minister from 2006-2009. he was a relatively popular leader at the time, but as his case worked its way through the legal system, there were increasing demands by the public that he serve time in jail, saying israeli politicians are treated far too leniently by the courts. >> this isn't the end of olmert's legal troubles. he still faces a potential sentence of eight months in prison over allegations of fraud and making illegal payments to an american businessman. while the supreme court has yet to rule on that case, olmert's legacy as the first israeli prime minister to be hand said a prison sentence is cemented.
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al jazeera, west jerusalem. >> the chief palestinian negotiator has responded to a new report that israel plans to build a new 55,000 settlement unit in the occupied west bank. the report by the n.g.o. peace now based findings on government data obtained under a freedom of information act request. he's it would end all hope of a palestinian state. he's calling on the international community to reconsider its relations with israel. >> we need immediately knock on the door to the security council to have the motion resolution to the effect that not only the illegality, not only asking israel to revoke, but also to declare that these actions are absolutely a violation of international law and to hold israel accountable. >> either the world recognizes
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israel's occupation as a leget mitt system of control and distortion of the he'll humanitarian system and intervenes or then it's up to the palestinians to say that's it, that's it, and when the palestinians say that it will not be bound by any agreements, because israel has veiled all the agreements, it means that the situation in palestine is going undergo a very strays particular change and might lead to one of israel is building up to to a situation of chaos, a breakdown of law and order, which means that there will be a breakout of violence. israel has warned brazil it faces diplomatic consequences if it does not accept its course of ambassador. brazil objected due to his previous rule as a jewish settler movement leader in the
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west bank. israel said brazil will face consequences. the former stronghold of a deadly group, we go with the nigerian army to see what happened to what was once boko haram's most fortified base. the latest from the al jazeera undercover investigation into the alleged world of sports doping. when you're on hold, your business is on hold.
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>> welcome back. you're watching al jazeera top stories. iraq's prime minister abadi is visiting ramadi in anbar province, the scene of a strategic victory over isil. the iraqi military recaptured parts of the city monday and flew the national flag over government buildings. in pakistan, 22 have been killed and 42 injured in an explosion targeting a government office in the countries northwest. local police say a suicide bomber targeted a center issuing i.d. cards. israel's top court reduced the former prime minister olmert's prison term to 18 months in a bribery case. it's the first time a former head of government will be imprisoned in israel. olmert had been earlier sentenced to six years. let's return to our top story and the fight against isil in iraq. a senior fellow at the center are international governance innovation, a non-partisan think tank thinks ramadi is a key
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testing ground for the iraqi government. >> it's a lot easier to conquer than hold this territory and definitely abadi has been wanting this victory. the loss of ramadi was a huge blow to the confidence of the iraqi forces, but more importantly was a real stain on the deep professionalized military that had become the iraqi forces. can it hold on? that will be the real challenge. will it regain the legitimacy of the people on the ground. the reality is where isil has conquered territory, many of those places do have people feeling alienated from the central government, from baghdad and abadi quite different from maliki who really alienated the sunni population, abadi is saying the right things and doing his hard evident, but the proof is in the pudding whether they retain ramadi. >> iraqi forces will head toward
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mosul to retake that. that's another stronghold of isil. do you think it will be a similar fight or will that be a more difficult fight? >> it's definitely going to be a more difficult fight. i mean, mosul is a city of 2 million. it's primarily all arab and sunni, although it has many minorities. ramadi is really a small town in many ways, it is not like mosul, the second largest city in iraq. it's a huge challenge to overtake mosul. there are approximately 5,000 isis fighters. in ramadi, it may have been 300 to a couple thousand at the most. this is a testing ground for the idea of having iraqi forces in combination with sunni tribal forces to create this i think popular bottom up type of liberation force, and quite
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different,s disaster of shia mobilization forces creating a lot of alienation. >> explain the particular decision to not use the shia paramilitary forces in terms of ramadi. >> this is really vital. you know, the shia militia forces, the mobilization forces are a population mobilization forces, iranian trained forces. they are gangs, they are not professional military. they don't have allegiance to iraq, they are not trained in that professional sense of a national army. they are in effect gangs of individuals, you know, hired help, so to speak, mercy theirs, so they don't necessarily follow the kinds of i think nationalistic aspiration of an army meant to contain and maintain legitimacy on the ground in their wake. so it's not about destroy and conquer, it's about thinking about the day after, what happens after you conquer in keeping a positive lets say
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reputation for the military force and ensuring that they treat the citizens on the ground fairly in their wake. >> hundred was syrians trapped by intense fighting in two parts of the country have been relocated. people have arrived in rebel held territory in idlib, while pro assad fighters and their families from idlib are now in damascus. some of that group remained in southern beirut to be treated for their injuries. we have more from the turkey syria border. >> wounded fighters and their families who were evacuate arrived in turkey and then from there, they crossed into idlib, a rebel stronghold in northern syria. there were a few exceptions, some of those badly injured were kept in hospital. at the same time, the pro government shia fighters and their families who were evacuate were flown from turkey to lebanon and from there will
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travel to damascus. past agreements were put on hold or collapsed. this one went as planned, quite a step forward for the international community, which is hoping to bring the warring factions in syria to make similar deals in the future to sort of bridge the distrust between them. that's one goal. in geneva, they will tackle serious issues like a transitional authority in air i can't that will put an end to more than four years of civil war. 30 people were killed in attacks in the northeast of nigeria. emergency services say two saturday bombers struck a market in the town. in neighboring borno state, gunman opened fire and detonated explosives in a mosque. no one has claimed responsibility. boko haram is suspected to have been carrying out the latest wave of attacks which
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come ahead of a government deadline. the nigeria president gave military chiefs until the end of this month to defeat the group and maintain significant progress it's made. al jazeera has been given access to film what was once boko haram's most fordifyed base. we have no report. >> on patrol with the nigerian military in the former stronghold of boko haram. this forest is mired in myth and notoriety. a mere mention of it fills many with dread. it's a vast territory seize the by boko haram. a new government in military leadership took over this area. it is now declared that the group is no longer dominant. >> it is becoming more peaceful, a better place than it used to
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be. we believe that for every second for every minute for every day, things will continue to improve. >> still, the military is stepping up operations, mopping up and securing areas they have recaptured. >> new namen territory has seen as much bombing as the straight of land behind me. this boko haram stronghold has been pointed from the air for several months. we are told it is not safe to go deep in there because of the military operations and ordinances, land mines planted by boko haram to stop or slow down the military from advancion. >> on the road to one of the most devastated towns, our handler took us through areas of destruction, a legacy of six years of violence. >> i don't think the army is going to stay here for a very long time due to defeat. boko haram is no longer to stay.
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girls were taken from this town long before the other girls were abducted. his new fish traps ready to be laid. >> life was tough, but now we can go to the river. with the troops around, things are getting better and better. >> things have improved, but fear remains as boko haram has carried out a series of suicide bombings recently. like many people in the northeast, muhammed knows the fight for stability may continue for sometime to come. al jazeera, northeastern nigeria. the world health organization today declaring guinea free of ebola, the ebola outbreak in west africa was first reported in guinea in
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march of 2014. 2000536 people have died there. it's been 42 days since a patient recovered or died and there have been no new infections. reporters without borders said 110 journalists have been killed around the world this year. in their latest report, the group said many of them like al jazeera cameraman ibrahim died in war zones, but the majority were killed in peaceful countries. the high toll has been attributed to deliberate violence against the press. reporters without borders is calling on the u.n. to take action to protect journalists. central american nation agreed to allow cuban migrants stranded in costa rica to continue their journey toward the united states. the migrants can now bypass nicaragua. >> around 8,000 cuban migrants have been stranded at this camp in costa rica for more than a month. nicaragua refused to let them across. the migrants are trying to get
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to the united states. central american countries have been holding talks in guatemala on how to resolve the crisis. they've agreed that the cubans will fly to el salvador, be bussed through guatemala and el salvador to the united states. >> the first guarantee was for mexico to first allow these people to pass through its territory. the second was for there not to be any cost for guatemala. >> the cubans journey to the united states has been long and complicated. many flew direct to ecuador, which doesn't require cubans to have visas. from there, they traveled north through columbia, panama and costa rica, but stopped in nicaragua, which is a close ally of cuba's. under u.s. law, any cuban who makes it on to u.s. soil can apply for residency. many cubans worry that may change. >> it's important for the united states and cuba to work together. they're at the center of this issue, along with ecuador.
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it's allowed these people to enter their country. >> the cubans are expected to restart their journey next week and realize their dream of making it to the united states. al jazeera. massive flooding forced tens of thousands of people in four south american countries to take refuge in shelters. uruguay, bar guy, brazil and argentina have all been affected. the argentine. the said climate change is partly to blame and promised government aid. in the united states, a large storm is bringing snow and strong winds. there has been heavy snowfall in wisconsin and illinois. an al jazeera investigation into performance enhancing drugs remains in the spotlight. it involves a pharmacist once an intern at an anti aging clinic in the u.s. he told an undercover reporter that the human shimmed a human growth huer mon to the wife of peyton manning. one of the main points of contention remains the dates that he, charlie sly, worked in
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the clinic in indiana. >> when undercover athlete liam collins first met charlie sly, as part of the undercover investigation, sly immediately demonstrated his knowledge of drugs, offering liam an anabolic banned in sport. over the next 12 days, in seven different meetings, more than 27 hours of recorded conversations, sly gradually opened up about his contacts with athletes. statements he now denies. his most controversial allegation is that when he did part of his pharmacy training at an anti aging clinic in indianapolis, human growth hormone was shipped to peyton manning's wife. >> all the time we would be sending ashley manning drugs, growth hormone, all the time, everywhere, florida, it would
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never be under peyton's name, always her name. >> since then, the clinic claimed sly was only there in 2013, after the mannings moved to colorado, not 2011 as al jazeera originally reported. now, al jazeera is releasing the phone call we made almost a month ago to confirm the dates of sly's rotation. >> thank you for calling mcguire institute of molecular medicine. >> i wonder if you can, yes, i need to do an employment verification on a gentleman calls charles sly. he's a pharmacist and i believe he did a rotation with you. is that right, do you know him? >> yes. uh-huh. >> could you possibly give me the precise dates? >> i can. it will be just a minute. >> thank you. >> uh-huh. >> remain on the line. a representative will assist you momentarily. >> the start date we have where we signed for him was 10/17/11. >> 10/17/11, ok. do you know how long he stayed with you? >> i think for a couple of months, like three months,
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maybe. >> great. sounds like you know him, then. >> yes, i knew him when he was here. >> that was a month ago. now, dr. del guyer, who never responded to al jazeera's request for comment, says charlie sly has fabricated his whole story. sly says everything he said when he didn't know he was being recorded was untrue. peyton manning has issued his own angry denial, saying he's never used performance enhancing drugs. however the allegation in the program, the growth hormone was shipped from the guyer clinic to ashley manning has never been denied by either peyton manning or the clinic. that leaves several key questions to be answered, was growth hormone shipped to ashley manning and if so, over what period and in what quantities and can they confirm ashley manning does not suffer from any of the three serious medical conditions for which it's legal to prescribe growth hormone.
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if she does not, it raises the question has the guyer institute broken the law. deborah davis, al jazeera, washington. you can keep right up to date with all our top international news stories on the website, aljazeera.com. >> a police officer is about to enter his plea over murder charges in the shooting death of a black teen. an al jazeera special investigation, new details from our exclusive report on doping in sport. thousands flights delayed or canceled as a deadly storm system slows travel and dumps ice and snow.

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